Netherlands will apply hefty tax to RDF imports as of 2020

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18.09.2019 − 

Despite widespread waste management industry opposition, the Dutch is government is moving ahead with plans to tax wastes imported for incineration beginning on 1 January 2020. The measure would expand an existing tax on incinerated domestic wastes, the “afvalstoffenbelasting” to include imported wastes. That waste tax rate currently stands at €32.12. The expansion of the tax was formally announced as part of the national budget, released at the opening of the Dutch Parliament on 17 September.

When plans for the tax first became in June, they ignited a storm of protest from within the waste management industry. Incineration plant operators, waste trade associations and exporters have warned that the additional cost would distort the market, force waste to energy (wte) plant operators to lower prices, and making landfilling economically viable again.

Dutch government expects RDF imports to “evaporate completely”

Supporting documents released along with the Netherlands' 2020 budget show that the waste sector’s concerns are in no way overblown. The government itself predicts that the expansion of the tax will all but eliminate imports of refuse derived fuel (RDF) in just three years. Because the tax would raise the total cost of waste incineration in the Netherlands above the average price in competing countries, “the imported waste stream is expected to evaporate completely over time”, according to the government’s assessment of the budget measure.

RDF imports currently make up around a quarter of all of the wastes incinerated in Dutch wte plants. The Netherlands imported some 1.9 million tonnes of waste for incineration in 2017.

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